Massive support for Deputy Sport Minister
There was a massive turn out of youth groups, friends and family of Ishmail Al-Sankoh Conteh, the recently appointed Deputy Minister of Sports, who was approved in Parliament on Wednesday 6th March 2013.
Some of the organizations and sympathizers that witnessed the approval include: Tetina Cultural Organization, Luke Farm Football Club, Texas Football Club, Banana Water Youth Organization, Congo Town Youth Organization, Brookfields Progressive Youth Association, Fire Stone Youth Organization, Dwarzark Farm Youth Organization, Waterloo Youth Organization, Bone Suffer Youth Organization, Magazine Youth Organization, Mandella Youth Organization, Sierra Leone Youth Development Organization, Grassfield Youth Organization, Portee Youths, Wilberforce Youths, Black Stone Youths, Timanaokay Hunters Society, Limba Ojeh Society etc.
The jubilant groups displayed banners and played various instruments whilst dancing outside parliament in support for the Deputy Minister. This massive support for the young minister attracted so many Members of Parliament like Hon. Ibrahim Bundu of the All Peoples Congress Party (APC) who jokingly questioned whether the crowd outside parliament was a way of intimidating the Appointment Committee in Parliament.
In the Well of Parliament, the Committee recommended that the Deputy Sport Minister be approved after a thorough check on his track record.
Hon. Umar P. Tarawallie of Bo said the appointment of the youth leader as Deputy Minister is laudable, owing to the fact that he has contributed immensely towards transforming youths in the country. “Since I knew Al-Sankoh I could not tell his tribal line because he has been working with youths across the country. I am confident that with the experience and unifying spirit of the Deputy Minister the Sport sector will be transformed,” the Member of Parliament said. Hon. Tarawallie commended President Koroma for appointing the Deputy Minister whom he said will inject his leadership spirit to enhance a positive change in the Sports Ministry.
Hon. Show Sawyer of Constituency 108 expressed satisfaction on the appointment of the Deputy Minister; and added that his experience in dealing with lawless youths will help him greatly in ensuring a great transformation of the sport sector. He promised that Parliament will rally around the Deputy Minister to ensure that he receives the required support to develop sporting activities in the country.
Speaking to this reporter in an interview, the Deputy Minister sees the appointment as a step in the right direction. Ishmail Al-Sankoh Conteh’s appointment in the Sport Ministry did not come as a surprise as he has wealth of experience in that sector. He has managed the Luke Farm Football Club and is currently serving as executive member of Texas Football Club.
One of his aspirations is to develop grass root football, and empower young people in the game to be disciplined and play well to compete at local and international level. “Together with my Minister, we’ll ensure to inculcate the culture of unity and dialogue within the various sporting disciplines, and bring about a sense of transparency to the satisfaction of all relevant stakeholders,” he said, and added that, his second focus will be to develop a plan of action that contains resource mobilization and strategic plan to source funding for the various sporting disciplines in the nation.
“We want to develop grass root people to take up leadership roles such as coaching and management of sporting disciplines,” says the Deputy Minister.
Another focus of the Minister is to have a residential coach for the national team, whose role will be to conduct effective training for home based players for the national team; and also have an effective two-leg premier league.
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